This has been a long time coming…Posted: January 8, 2008
After reading this post by Brian Cronin mournfully applauding the death of continuity in Marvel comics I couldn’t help but come away with the impression that Mr. Cronin is implying that it was impossible to tell a good story with a married Spider-Man. And I have to call bullshit on that.
Now, I’m not saying Brian actually believes this (his argument seems to be that good storytelling is what should count, not continuity and really I can’t argue with that), it’s just the attitudes of creators he cites seems to imply that it was simply impossible to tell a really good (or even just plain good) Spider-Man story in the last 20 years (give or take) since the marriage was imposed by Shooter. The marriage, I guess, was the storytelling equivalent of cutting off Peter’s leg or something.
I, of course, call bullshit on this.
It seems to me that the writers of the Spidey books and the editors and Marvel has allowed their distaste of the Spidey marriage to get in the way of their ability to tell a good story.
I think Brian’s piece bears this assertion out:
Continuity is the exact reason why Spider-Man has stayed married up until now. Take into consideration that, from a creative standpoint, practically no one wanted him married. We know from Joe Quesada’s interviews at CBR that basically none of Marvel’s current writers and editors like the idea of Spider-Man being married. Michael Eury’s great Back Issue magazine did a round table of PAST Spider-Man writers and editors about the marriage, and most of them (Jim Shooter, Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman and John Romita, at least) did not like the idea of Spider-Man being married, either. And Shooter was one of the driving forces behind the marriage in the FIRST place! Yet today, he agrees that it was not a good idea.
Editors for years have been trying to get rid of the marriage, but they were all too worried about continuity to actually DO it.
This inability of these creators to grow up and just get over it and try and tell a good story is really why the Spider-Man books have sucked for (at least) the last ten years.
It can’t be the marriage because, really, in all honesty how much does that change about Peter Parker? Okay, he can’t really be involved in the whole over played love triangle business or date multiple women at the same time. But Peter never really was like that, if memory serves, he was always a serial monogamist. Being married doesn’t necessary fix his money or job problems or the variety of responsibility issues the character always had.
In fact it many ways a married Peter Parker has just as many story options as a single Peter Parker. Observing the world around me, I’ve noticed that when two people get married all of their problems don’t just go away and they don’t necessarily live happily ever after. In fact, in many was, marriage make a person’s life more complicated and filled with responsibility than being single. Now I can’t empirically prove this but I do think its true.
This whole Spider-Man marriage mess has been a complete disaster and will probably hang over at least the first arc or so of the new “Brand New Day” clouding whither that’s a good story or not.
In fact, I’m convinced that this new “status quo” will probably be undone again by the end of this whole “Brand New Day” experiment. I mean Peter and MJ made a deal with the devil and usually in heroic versions of those sort of stories thing go badly and eventually the whole thing is undone.
Argh. I think this is going to be my last Spidey post for awhile.